Whatever Happened to the Nimmo Smith Report?

ByElijah Baley

Whatever Happened to the Nimmo Smith Report?

I am privileged to have the chance to post a “guest” article on TSFM. As we get used to the lights being turned out, even temporarily, on RTC, we have a new forum for analysing the various issues which concern supporters of Scottish football.

It is undoubtedly the case that most of these issues involve the Rangers FC, either directly or indirectly, together with their interaction with the governing bodies of Scottish football.

One of the matters mentioned on “The List” page here is the Nimmo Smith report. I try to answer the question about what happened to it below, and note the relevance its apparent disappearance has for the soon to convene SPL Independent Commission.

I would encourage anyone who wants to do so to contribute posts for publication to TSFM.

RTC created from nothing a vibrant community looking at serious and complex issues of finance, law and corporate governance with a huge range of expertise, and not a little humour. TSFM can build on that legacy for the good of football in Scotland, and hopefully to the betterment of our media.

Whatever Happened to the Nimmo Smith Report?

On 21st February 2012 the SFA announced that it had appointed retired judge Lord Nimmo Smith to chair an independent inquiry into Rangers FC. His panel comprised Professor Niall Lothian, Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland; Bob Downes, former Director of BT and now Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, and Stewart Regan, CEO of the SFA.

The Inquiry was commissioned to investigate the potential breach of a number of SFA Articles of Association and to present its findings to the SFA Board within two weeks. Article 62.2 (q) of the SFA Articles of Association allows the SFA Board to appoint “a commission … to attend to and/or determine any matter(s) referred to it by the Board.”

Stewart Regan was quoted saying: “I am delighted Lord Nimmo Smith has agreed to Chair the Independent Inquiry. I am certain the experience contained within the panel will enable us to achieve more clarity on the situation regarding Rangers FC. There will be no further comment on the investigation until it is complete and its findings presented to the Board.”

One wonders about the use of the word “independent”, bearing in mind that one of the members was the CEO of the commissioning body, and on the Board which would consider it once prepared.

On 2nd March Mr Regan had more to say, although the investigation was not yet complete.

“We are now in the final stages of our independent inquiry into the situation concerning Rangers FC. The report by The Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith is expected to be completed next week and will go to a Special Board Meeting for consideration. It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage in relation to the details gleaned from the inquiry, the potential contents of the report or any possible sanctions.

On 8th March the Special Board Meeting took place to consider the Nimmo Smith Report. Mr Regan commented:-

“I can confirm that the Scottish FA convened a Special Board Meeting at Hampden Park today to discuss the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Rangers FC, prepared by the Chair, The Right Honourable Lord William Nimmo Smith. 

“Principally, it is the belief of the Board, taking into account the prima facie evidence presented today, that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a Fit and Proper person to hold a position within Association Football.

“The report submitted by Lord Nimmo Smith, having been considered fully by the Board, highlights a number of other potential rule breaches by the club and its owner. The report will now be used as evidence and forwarded to a Judicial Panel for consideration and determination as per the protocol.

As such, the report’s contents will not be published at this time. Nevertheless, I can confirm that the club is facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.”

On 24th April Mr Regan, following the verdict of the Judicial Panel, said the following:-

“It was entirely right that the original inquiry into Rangers FC and Craig Whyte was conducted independently and chaired by the Right Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith. These findings were presented to the Judicial Panel Tribunal, who returned their verdict last night.”

That all seems clear. Lord Nimmo Smith, with the help of distinguished people like Mr Regan, carried out a quick but thorough investigation, and the results were put to the Judicial Panel for consideration.

However Gary Allan QC, who chaired the Panel, made the following comment on page 59 of the Panel’s written decision.

“It is remarkable that throughout the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal Process there has been repeated, and regrettably wholly misconceived reference to the Report of Lord Nimmo Smith. For the avoidance of any doubt, the Judicial Panel hearing this disciplinary matter was at no time presented with the report, as evidence or otherwise, nor was it presented with any of its findings. No member of the Tribunal has had sight of it. The report was not mentioned by any party at any time in the course of the proceedings. The determinations which were reached, therefore, were reached entirely independently of any view at which any other person, however senior or eminent, may have arrived in fulfilment of his remit prior to the disciplinary hearing.”

How can the Chair of the Panel deny having seen a document which, according to one of the people who sat on the independent committee, was presented to them?

The answer is two-fold.

Firstly, at pages 2 to 3 of the Judicial Panel decision, the procedural nuts and bolts of the case are discussed:-

“The Tribunal … directed that … it would proceed to hear the evidence and submissions and proceed to Determinations in relation to the complaints against both Rangers FC and Mr Whyte.

The Tribunal … noted that … it would proceed on the basis that there was an absolute denial on (Mr Whyte’s) part of each element of the alleged breach of the rules in all its particulars.

The Tribunal directed that accordingly, and notwithstanding the fact that in its written responses Rangers FC in substantial measure admitted the factual averments and a number of the alleged breaches of the rules, … the Tribunal would require to establish a clear factual basis for its Determination of both any alleged breaches and, if applicable, any sanction against either or both Rangers FC or Mr Whyte. … The commission and the circumstances of the alleged breaches would therefore require to be established by the leading of evidence before the Tribunal …

A discussion in relation to the procedure to be adopted took place. It was agreed that the Compliance Officer Mr Lunny would lead evidence ex parte by submission and reference to documentary material but would lead no witnesses, and would invite the Tribunal to accept the evidence in that form as provided in the Judicial Panel Protocol. Mr McLaughlin for Rangers FC, standing its position on the complaints contained in the written response previously submitted had neither issues with that proposal nor any other objection to the procedure which would be adopted. An opportunity would then be afforded to Rangers FC to lead evidence and make submissions as Mr McLaughlin on its behalf saw fit. Mr McLaughlin intimated that he would be likely to lead evidence from four witnesses previously intimated to the Compliance Officer and the Tribunal in terms of the Judicial Panel Protocol.”

At the hearing the positions of Rangers FC and of Mr Whyte were totally at odds. Mr Whyte did not appear nor lodge any substantive reply. He denied everything. On the other hand, Rangers FC “in substantial measure admitted the factual averments and a number of the alleged breaches of the rules”. As the Panel determined, they needed to be satisfied of the right verdict based on the evidence, but as the “prosecution case” was generally admitted, there was less rigour about this than if, for example, Mr Whyte had attended and denied the charges.

If Mr Whyte had appeared to deny the allegations, or if Rangers FC had disputed them, then evidence would have had to come from witnesses, who could have been cross-examined. In that event it would not have been sufficient to present the Nimmo Smith report, because, for all his experience, expertise and eminence, he is not guaranteed to be infallible.

One important principle in judicial and quasi-judicial procedure is the “Best Evidence rule”. If possible, original documents should be produced, rather than copies. Items of physical evidence should be brought to the court, rather than photographs of it. Witnesses should give evidence rather than having witness statements provided to the hearing.

This, I think, provides part of the explanation for the apparently mysterious absence of the Nimmo Smith Report.

The facts of the case had been admitted by the only party who attended the hearing, namely Rangers FC. Therefore Mr Lunny led “evidence ex parte by submission and reference to documentary material”. The Panel made 108 separate “findings in fact” derived from the evidence he put forward and that of Rangers FC.

Where Lord Nimmo Smith’s committee had, for example, analysed documents and offered a conclusion upon their import, the documents would be evidence but His Lordship’s conclusion would not. Similarly where a witness had been interviewed by the Nimmo Smith commission, or provided a statement, the former judge’s views on that would not be evidence, but the witness statement would be.

Mr Lunny, the Compliance Officer, was acting as prosecutor. Effectively Lord Nimmo Smith played the role of a senior detective co-ordinating an investigation, but not actually obtaining any evidence himself. In a criminal trial, where the officer in charge of the investigation has taken no part in the accumulation of the evidence, then their relevance as a witness is very small at best. It is up to the judge or the jury to decide what the totality of evidence means as far as guilt or innocence is concerned.

Therefore whilst I am sure that Lord Nimmo Smith’s report was on Mr Lunny’s table as he went through his presentation, ticking off the relevant parts as he led the primary evidence, the Report itself was not “relevant” evidence for the Panel. It is likely that, in discussion prior to the hearing, Mr Lunny and the solicitor for Rangers FC agreed whether the Nimmo Smith report would be used or not.

Mr Regan said prior to the Panel sitting The report will now be used as evidence and forwarded to a Judicial Panel for consideration and determination as per the protocol. The presentation of the case of course was independent of him, and whilst the Report would have formed the basis for the charges laid against Rangers FC and Mr Whyte, it was not evidence itself, as agreed between the parties.

The second aspect which accords with this explanation is the precise phrase used by Mr Regan. He said, after the decision, These findings were presented to the Judicial Panel Tribunal.”

He did not say that the report was presented, rather that the findings were. As the findings would form the basis for the “charges” admitted by Rangers FC, then to that extent the Nimmo Smith report played a part in the proceedings.

This issue has relevance now for the forthcoming SPL proceedings involving player payments and registrations which might have broken the rules. To great clamour and consternation from Ibrox direction, Harper MacLeod, the widely respected and highly rated form of solicitors, have carried out an investigation for the SPL into Rangers FC.

Mr Green has made clear that, as far as possible, the case will be fought, and no past titles will be stripped if he can do anything about it. Expect calls for the Harper MacLeod report to be produced.

However, it is in exactly the same position as the Nimmo Smith report was, except this time the accused is not accepting guilt. In that case, the relevant documents and witnesses will need to attend for scrutiny and examination.

On the basis that the First Tier Tax Tribunal, which looked at different but related issues, took many days to conclude, it is highly likely that the SPL case will not have a quick conclusion.

As a final aside, I must compliment Mr Green. All of the media speculation about punishment in the event that the independent commission find guilt on the part of Rangers repeats the mantra from Ibrox that the most severe penalty, namely stripping of titles, is the aim of the SPL.

I suspect that the SPL might believe that too now, on the basis that something which the club and the fans oppose so vigorously must be a draconian penalty.

But, of all of the various penalties listed, stripping titles would not cost the Rangers FC a single penny. The issue has already seen the supporters unite behind their team. Even if the commission finds the case proven, and as a result Rangers lose some of their historic titles, this will be seen by the Ibrox faithful as yet more treachery by the football authorities. Bearing in mind that the SPL rules allow various penalties, including the power to expel the club, impose unlimited fines and place a registration embargo on the club, altering the history books is the best thing for Rangers as a business, rather than a penalty which affects them just now.

Posted by Paul McConville – www.scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com

About the author

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1,330 Comments so far

StanblackPosted on10:47 am - Aug 16, 2012

I disagree that Scotland is corrupt, the west of Scotland if anywhere. We need people to stick to the rules and laws of the land with fear or favour.

I am sure there is a level of corruption everywhere and that is why we have a government full of Etonians, that is why our major banks and businesses are run by public school boys,

The banking crisis has shown greed and corruption on a grand scale. Our MPs were not breaking any rules, just helping themselves to free tv’s and white goods, whilst switching homes for financial benefit. When they were finally named by the telegraph, was it the old boys getting their moats cleaned that were charged.

The whole system is corrupt and it is not going to change and that is why rail can put up fares by what they like and all parties will agree with it no matter what their manifesto stated.

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Torrevieja JohnbhoyPosted on10:49 am - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:41

Torrevieja I agree it is a dangerous game not paying Europen club debts and have Rapid not already complained to UEFA or FIFA? I understand that CG has spoken with the European authorities and presumably has been satisfied that there will be no action on their part. Of course this does not make it right but at least should minimise ramifications for our game.

CG said he was meeting UEFA
UEFA said no such meeting took place.(He did fly to Zurich though,on the same day as Whyte,Ellis and KIng,Dave,not Darryl).

CG said he was meeting Olympiakos to arrange a friendly
Olympiakos said”Who’s Charles Green?.

CG said he met Peter Lawell
CFC said,No he didn’t

CG said I’ve 20 investors
Where are they?.

CG said,I’ve 3 billionaires.
Need I go on?.

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john clarkePosted on10:51 am - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 08:58
‘…..How can people have the gall to take a moral high position with the Rangers debacle and then boo a Scotland player? ….’

It is precisely because people have taken the (correct) high moral position with regard to the perceived corruption at the heart of our Football Administration that they had ‘the gall’ to boo a fourth division player who, it is believed, was catapulted into the team for reasons unconnected with his footballing skills ( which, by any ordinary standard ,are not particularly dazzling).

CL has shown already that his former ‘ I am my own man’ stance has weakened. And I believe he was leaned on to ensure that supporters of the new fourth division team were kept on board.

The common enemy is not Levein, or any individual player, but the SFA administration.

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AndyMPosted on10:54 am - Aug 16, 2012

Torrevieja Johnbhoy

Not disputing your query about the number of tickets sold, but I do believe you can also buy them online with a debit card.

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LoyalbuddyPosted on10:54 am - Aug 16, 2012

Everyone is focused on why Black was booed yet no-one appears to have suggested that this could have been more of a protest about his inclusion in the squad, and subsequently the game, rather than the player himself. Both Houston and Levin suggested that he would be nowhere near the squad except for injuries to other players yet instead of giving one of the U-21 players a step-up they choose Black.

I am sure we’ve all been to club games where there has been booing towards a player (by their own fans) either when the squad has been announced or when coming on or even perhaps going off. My experience at Love St. is that this is mostly not because of the player but the fact the manager has made a decision the fans feel is wrong.

I accept that the baggage he brings makes him a target from man sides but I just wonder in this instance if this was more a reaction to Levin’s team selection than the player himself. However, if Black was booed every time he touched the ball then clearly it goes beyond my hypothesis and I stand corrected.

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Charlie BrownPosted on11:02 am - Aug 16, 2012

Look we’ve all been getting this Ian Black stuff way wrong imo.

This young man is to be heartily congratulated for the following achievements.

1. On becoming The Rangers first ever capped player.

2. On simultaneously becoming The Rangers most ever capped player.

3. On becoming the first ever 4th Division player to be capped.


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Torrevieja JohnbhoyPosted on11:02 am - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:41

I understand that CG has spoken with the European authorities and presumably has been satisfied that there will be no action on their part. Of course this does not make it right but at least should minimise ramifications for our game.
It only “minimises ramifications” on behalf of CG and Sevco.
Everyone else will be stuck with the corrupt set up we have right now!

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campsiejoePosted on11:03 am - Aug 16, 2012

If FIFA get involved at the request of Rapid Vienna, then Sevco will have a very difficult decision to make

Do they carry on pretending to be the old club or do they say to FIFA we are a new club and are not responsible for the old club’s debts
To which FIFA would probably reply, if you are a new club, why have you paid the debts owed to Scottish clubs

Either way, Charlie could have a problem coming his way 🙂

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pantoon malooPosted on11:05 am - Aug 16, 2012

Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:49

What are you trying to say!

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Jimmy Bee JayPosted on11:08 am - Aug 16, 2012

My last three posts have disappeared into moderation never to return, is there a problem?

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Jimmy Bee JayPosted on11:09 am - Aug 16, 2012

That one worked!???!!

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willmacufreePosted on11:09 am - Aug 16, 2012

Charlie Brown 10.02 Sepia, Hugh McEwan has a new name on here – it’s now Philip Jose Farmer
M_A_R 10.09 Does Philip Jose Farmer retain the history of Hugh McEwan?
According to S.R., yes. It could cost PJF £1, although the SPL will settle that bill as well.

But to be serious, Hugh’s contribution was massive in my opinion. I hope we’ll see more.

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BlueSkiesPosted on11:09 am - Aug 16, 2012

HengistPod thanks. I don’t rate Levein but I do accept his justification for playing Black. I am firmly of the view that it is not right to boo a Scotland player as some sort of protest. The guy is making his debut. It is unjustifiable. It helps no-one and only shows up the boo brigade as hypocrits, fuelling the fire of those who believe there is an agenda against Rangers.
Torrevieja I take your point. CG has delivered what he has said in other areas so we shall see. Anyway this forum is not all about Rangers, does anyone think we can qualify out of this group of death?

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HirsutePursuitPosted on11:10 am - Aug 16, 2012

The Ian Black situation is quite simple.

Craig Levein is tasked with putting together a squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying campaign. That campaign is over 2 seasons. If new players are to be blooded at this stage they need to be players who will be available over the course of these games.

If Ian Black was a quality player and an established international, perhaps Levein could argue that he did not want to lose an integral member of his squad and would give the player some time to find a new club that would be more suited to his talents.

However, Black has only ever been at the fringes of international recognition. He is a thug with studs, universally disliked by fans outside of Sevco and Hearts. Even at the latter club, many followers were constantly embarrassed by his antics and were glad to see him go. After a period where he had to return to painting & decorating because he couldn’t find a club willing to take him on, he has just tied himself to lower league club for a minimum of three seasons.

On footballing merit he simply had no right to be playing last night. The Scottish fans who booed Black were as much venting their anger at Levein for putting him on.

Perhaps Levein was coerced by others into selecting Black; perhaps he thought that it would keep the press off his back. Who knows?

What I do know, is that by playing him last night, Levein has further alienated a large number of Scotland supporters who already felt betrayed by the Scottish football authorities.

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y4rmyPosted on11:10 am - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:41

Torrevieja I agree it is a dangerous game not paying Europen club debts and have Rapid not already complained to UEFA or FIFA? I understand that CG has spoken with the European authorities and presumably has been satisfied that there will be no action on their part. Of course this does not make it right but at least should minimise ramifications for our game.

CG said he was meeting UEFA
UEFA said no such meeting took place.(He did fly to Zurich though,on the same day as Whyte,Ellis and KIng,Dave,not Darryl).

CG said he was meeting Olympiakos to arrange a friendly
Olympiakos said”Who’s Charles Green?.

CG said he met Peter Lawell
CFC said,No he didn’t

CG said I’ve 20 investors
Where are they?.

CG said,I’ve 3 billionaires.
Need I go on?.

I like this game.

CG said, HMRC have given me the nod that the CVA will be accepted.
HMRC rejected the CVA.

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BigrabbitPosted on11:16 am - Aug 16, 2012

pantoon maloo says:

August 16, 2012 at 11:05

Rate This

Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:49

What are you trying to say!

Perhaps that Mr Green has a propensity to utter terminological inexactitudes? copyright
W. Churchill.

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BrendaPosted on11:16 am - Aug 16, 2012

Getting back to the FTT decision ……… Is there a limit on the time allowed to make a decision? By November that will be a year, just seems that everything is taking so long meanwhile cheats fc are buying players they allegedly can’t afford and flaunting rules all over the place ………. Ring any bells??? 🙂

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sheep on gullane hillPosted on11:18 am - Aug 16, 2012

I was speaking to a 3rd divison physio at the tail end of last season who mentioned that andrew dallas was just as fussy as his old man and showed no reading of the game. Sounds like “europes top official” in the making.

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BlueSkiesPosted on11:28 am - Aug 16, 2012

Brenda there is no time limit and I too wonder why it is taking so long. It must be difficult to come to a conclusion on the ££ of the illegal payments as presumably some payments will be ok, others will be in a grey area and others will be definitely contractual and illegal. That’s a lot of payments over a lot of years. Anyway, it’s clear you have come to your own conclusion already!! Is the reality not that noone thinks the FTT decision will make much difference now anyway? It may inform the dual contracts investigation but that is a discrete enquiry versus compliance with SFA/SPL rules. Guilty of one does not mean guilty of the other and vice versa. Therefore may I ask why you care?

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Carl31Posted on11:28 am - Aug 16, 2012

I have posted this on one of the Random Thoughts threads. Its on the crucial ‘side letters’ and how they just might be SDM and Rangers (NIA) escape route. I play ‘Devils Advocate’ on the points as I dont hold with them, but please see what you think.

Possible escape route?

Consider the tax claim. A couple of points need be made. The side letters are crucial in their wording (whats included and whats not) and how they fit within the overall set up of an operational EBT.
1. Wording.
If it is a simple letter that says the employee may disregard repayment terms of, or need not pay back, any EBT loan, then a number of issues are raised… who would be liable for any tax/NI? Can the employee keep the money but not the tax? Does the employee fall liable for the tax once the side letter is examined by the HMRC authorities? Other such relatively simplistic wording might mean that a case could be argued that the Trust/MIH/Rangers(now IA) are not liable. Even with more specific wording, might it be the case that the liability re tax/NI is arguable or might be shared since its isn’t expressly or explicitly set out?
2. EBT operation.
The EBT is set up by a company at a higher level than Rangers (now IA) on an ‘organisational chart’ and then operated by independent Trustees. Rangers (now IA) have dealings with the trust as far as it pays money in, but no further. MIH sets up the Trust and puts trustees in charge of distributing ‘loans’, but Rangers(now IA) don’t have any responsibility for the operation of it.
If the side letter is on Rangers (now IA) headed paper and is from Rangers (now IA), but contains terms that release the recipient (a Rangers employee) from the terms of the MIH EBT loan, could it be reasonably argued that the letter gives that which is not in its gift? Might the employees and/or their agents have been duped into the validity of the side letters in that – the side letters are provided from an entity (Rangers (now IA)) that has no legal authority to release from or alter the terms of an agreement from another entity (MIH EBT)? If the employees and/or their agents accepted this from their employers, then on their head be it.
Secondly, consider the SPL investigation. They would be unconcerned with 1. above since its not their remit to judge based on payment or non-payment of tax. But 2. Is of concern to them. They would base their findings/verdict on whether the rule on ‘all payments for footballing activities must be declared’ is complied with. Again, might Rangers (now IA) argue for similar reasons that the EBT payments were and remain loans – not based on footballing activities, and thus do not need to have been declared? Again, if its argued that the side letters give that which is not in their gift – then the EBT payments remain loans, Rangers (now IA) need not have declared them to the relevant footballing authorities, and they weren’t declared.
I suppose this angle, or the arguing of this case depends on showing that Rangers (now IA) and the MIH EBT were independent entities and that one did not have legal authority to affect the operation or decisions of the other. That might come down to the identity of the named Trustees of the MIH EBT – and, I suppose, the fact that the Trust is Jersey based means that information could be difficult to get hold of (or more difficult that a mainland based trust). If the Trustees have obvious or tracable links to management of Rangers (now IA) then independence is difficult to argue, but if the Trustees are MIH people but separate from Rangers (now IA) then it’s a bit ‘muddier’ and a case could be argued. I would find it difficult to believe that the Trustees, who are empowered to dish out SDM’s money, have no connection to him whatsoever.
To conclude, I don’t hold the above positions (mainly down to the ‘spirit of the game’ principle which I’ve mentioned before in other posts) but I do feel that there may be more to the whole affair than is currently ‘in the open’, and there might just be, by legal argument, some form of escape route for SDM and Rangers (now IA).

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Smell the glovePosted on11:35 am - Aug 16, 2012

A lack of new information doesn’t help but it seems a lot of the best posters have disappeared since the RTC days and the blog is suffering as a result.

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BrendaPosted on11:36 am - Aug 16, 2012

I care because I don’t like cheating in any way shape or form, I care because I am a tax-payer and I care because I support an SPL team who cheats fc cheated against!!! Like most people on here ……. End of conversation with you 🙂

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Torrevieja JohnbhoyPosted on11:36 am - Aug 16, 2012

Yarmy says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:10

CG said he was meeting UEFA
UEFA said no such meeting took place.(He did fly to Zurich though,on the same day as Whyte,Ellis and KIng,Dave,not Darryl).

CG said he was meeting Olympiakos to arrange a friendly
Olympiakos said”Who’s Charles Green?.

CG said he met Peter Lawell
CFC said,No he didn’t

CG said I’ve 20 investors
Where are they?.

CG said,I’ve 3 billionaires.
Need I go on?.

I like this game.

CG said, HMRC have given me the nod that the CVA will be accepted.
HMRC rejected the CVA.
CG said,I’ll sue players who don’t TUPE over
Players leave,no one sued.

CG said,RFC have full banking facilities.
STs cannot be bought on DD but only through cash,cheque or the infamous “Continuous Credit Card payment scheme”

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Damian667-The neighbour of the beastPosted on11:38 am - Aug 16, 2012

Levein was poor on the BBC last night when asked about Black. All he had to say was he picked a team to win the game, and he stands by his decision.
Instead he squirmed and fudged while his pants went on fire.

And he was let off lightly by the interviewer.
His decision? Don’t think so.

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bad capt madmanPosted on11:45 am - Aug 16, 2012

Didn’t see the interview myself, but a thought occured, looking back do you think he deliberately squirmed to give the hint that he had been leaned on?

I know its very machiavellian, but you can’t rule anything put when considering the SFA!

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ziggydocPosted on11:55 am - Aug 16, 2012

It might just be me using an iPad, but there seems to be some issues using the site. e.g. After pressing the older comments tab, it doesn’t work. When posting a comment, the top of the comment window is hidden. Also, there are no thumbs up thumbs down buttons.

Anyone seeing similar with my first two problems?

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chancer67Posted on11:56 am - Aug 16, 2012

If the only way to make the BBC see sense regarding the “presenters” it chooses to employ is witholding of license fees then count me in.

Maybe some direct action is what is required to put an end to t he mis information emanating from Pacific Quay.

Up until now the only action taken by true fans(notwithstanding the emails and letter writing) was the threatened boycott and this was enough for the SPL clubs to take the correct route and not allow a dead club into the SPL.
Who knows it might get national coverage.,

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SeamusPosted on11:57 am - Aug 16, 2012


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Madbhoy24941Posted on12:07 pm - Aug 16, 2012

We should drop this “Black was a Hearts player so it was Hibs fans booing”, that is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. It is simple, the fans felt that Black was included before some SPL players from clubs deemed smaller than a 4th tier club. So they showed what they felt about that, pure and simple as far as I can see.

In saying that, I disagree with the player booing, it was not his fault and another appropriate form of disapproval might have been more acceptable… perhaps not attending the match in the first place would have given a much stronger message.

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Carl31Posted on12:14 pm - Aug 16, 2012

So it was 10,000 STs in a day. I very much doubt it.
I hail from the area and I’ve seen the numbers of people making their way to the game and numbers mulling around outside for there to then be official attendance figures of around 20,000. Even allowing for half the cars strung along local streets, walking to the stadium etc, it was nowhere near that number. A long queue around the stadium is maybe a few hundred – 500 at outside estimate.
Also, I wonder where all the cash goes if they dont have a banking facility? Is is securely held to pay everyone out cash for their weekly wage, and pay various smaller tradesmen or for catering? I would think this kind of operation would be a step change from what has previously gone at Ibrox, and involve extra security staff just for the cash.

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TheGamesABogeyPosted on12:16 pm - Aug 16, 2012

@Ziggydoc, could be an iOS issue, looks OK on both my desktop and android tablet.

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jw hardinPosted on12:20 pm - Aug 16, 2012

ziggydoc says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:55

Try quitting and restarting your browser.

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ziggydocPosted on12:24 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Thanks for the replies. Will fire up the old laptop and try there.

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SeniorPosted on12:25 pm - Aug 16, 2012

I did not watch the game. Was the boycott anywaysuccessful? What was the attendance compared to other friendlys down through the years.
Black’s inclusion sends some message to every player in his position in the upper three divisions

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blackjacquePosted on12:26 pm - Aug 16, 2012

ziggydoc says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:55

It might just be me using an iPad, but there seems to be some issues using the site. e.g. After pressing the older comments tab, it doesn’t work. Also, there are no thumbs up thumbs down buttons

ziggydoc: I also have these problems when using an ipad. No issues when using a pc

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BlueSkiesPosted on12:36 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Brenda with respect the I am a taxpayer argument does not explain your passion. Do you care so much about Vodafone, Amazon and other tax evasion cases where there are £billions of the taxpayers hard earned cash at stake? So what are you going to do if and when a guilty verdict is passed, will it make you feel better in some way? Or should I say bitter? Or is it just to actually justify you using the cheats word? Move on and support your team going forward!

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BlueSkiesPosted on12:40 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Hugely disappointed with lack of balance and extremity on this blog. I have been wanting to discuss whether Scotland can get out of the group but no chance of that on here. Outta here, am sure many will be glad.

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Charlie BrownPosted on12:43 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:36

My concern is that Rangers used tax-cheating to gain a financial and footballing advantage over their competitors and hence won trophies and had players that they couldn’t afford, the fact they then went bust and fiddled the nation out of the demand for unpaid tax owed is even more galling. Stripped of titles and trophies is the least that should happen – a period out of football wouldn’t be too strong a penalty either for deliberately deceiving the tax-payers AND the football authorities.

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kellsPosted on12:43 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Would love to be proved wrong but from admin day this whole saga has been played to date in favour of sevco , all the way through all the cards have fell in favour without fear of this rancid mob.
Seems the FTT will forever be delayed or diluted as goverment interference has had it’s grubby hands all over this pathetic debacle, Scotlands only chance to clean up it’s back yard lost to the bigots and cheats hats off to the lot of them as for BDO they seem to be everyone’s last hope only time will tell the overriding issue here is corruption is played out in broad daylight not hidden not whispered but out in the open .

Untill the SFA/SPL are disbanded and rules applied to the letter without fear or favour then i’m afraid they will never be a level playing field ,there will only be one like the one at ibrox where you move the lines to suit your needs

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Joe DochertyPosted on12:44 pm - Aug 16, 2012

TheGamesABogey says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:16
0 1 i
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@Ziggydoc, could be an iOS issue, looks OK on both my desktop and android tablet.

jw hardin says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:20
0 2 i
Rate This
ziggydoc says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:55

Try quitting and restarting your browser.

Works fine on PC. Now looks exactly like the old RTC site. Will have look at ipad later to try to figure out why the look is different.


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Joe DochertyPosted on12:45 pm - Aug 16, 2012

chancer67 says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:56
1 0 i
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If the only way to make the BBC see sense regarding the “presenters” it chooses to employ is witholding of license fees then count me in.

Watched the Newroom on Sky Atlantic last night (episode 6). Some of the BBC guys need to take a leaf out of it.

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BartinMainPosted on12:47 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Blue Skies, I’m finding it very difficult to undertsand why Rangers fans don’t look upon withholding tax for a period of ten years, possibly more, as cheating.

As per Tony McKelvie’s tweets, Rangers ‘saved’ 92p in the pound by not paying tax due between 2001- 2010; these monies were used to pay players wages they couldn’t otherwise afford, and gain a huge, massive, sporting advantage in the process.

If that’s not cheating, what is?

There’s being blinkered, and there’s being wilfully ignorant.

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BartinMainPosted on12:56 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Regarding Ian Black.

1. As a footballer, he’s a loathsome character, but that wouldn’t be enough to have him roundly booed by the Tartan Army. Plenty have donned the strip before.

2. Partly, it would have been because he now plays for Sevco, the tribute act for the club formerly known as Rangers, who took the SFA to court over the transfer embargo, jeapordizing not only Scottish club’s participation in European competition, but also the national side.

just look at what the Swiss FA were threatened with over the Sion debacle.

Also, the match was played at Easter Road, and I dare say parts 1+2 contributed to their booing, the fact he was a former 3. Hearts player further adding justification.

That’s why he got booed, 3 separate factors.

If I had been there, I would have joined in too- vociferously.

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Joe DochertyPosted on12:58 pm - Aug 16, 2012

I hate it when any ‘supporter’ boo their own players. The players don’t pick themselves. Even Celtic fans have been guilty of this since the days of Darren Jackson, who was the first I heard them booing. Not great support in anyones language.

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BlueSkiesPosted on12:59 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Argh I said I ws out of here and yet back I am! BartinMain, as a CFO I belong to the school of thought that it is the duty of company directors to mitigate tax and maximise returns to shareholders. That mitigation must of course be legal. EBTs are (were) legal and the FTT is determining whether the scheme was implemented and operated legally in this case. There iis a world of difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.

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oddfatherPosted on1:00 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Who thinks The Rangers will last till christmas ? TU yes or TD no to vote.

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oddfatherPosted on1:03 pm - Aug 16, 2012


There iis a world of difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.


One is illegal, the other immoral.

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BrendaPosted on1:05 pm - Aug 16, 2012


Thought you were ‘outta here’ bye

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BartinMainPosted on1:05 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Blue Skies, you are again missing the point, and I suspect it’s deliberate.

EBT’s were legal, if used correctly- eg not for what were in effect wages.

Additionally, undeclared payments to players- dual contracts, side letters, whatever you want to call them- IS cheating, and could see the stripping of titles even if you win the tax case.

You are goosed either way.

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jockybhoyPosted on1:09 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:August 16, 2012 at 11:09
“Anyway this forum is not all about Rangers It’s about the questions the media don’t ask, so it means it’s mostly about Rangers.

There are hundreds of other blogs about the actual game of football which would be more pertinent to your question does anyone think we can qualify out of this group of death?

But in answer to your question, I am sure there are people who think we can qualify. I don’t.

As to your other points – you do know the background to the Vodaphone tax, er, mitigation. International merger, don’t you? Debate as to which country they should pay taxes etc. Rangers is a very different case.

But as you say, “There iis a world of difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance”. – HMRC have found Rangers liable and have charged them back taxes interest and fines. Rangers have appealed and it is the result of that appeal we are waiting for. I think the opinion of HMRC is clear as to Rangers tax arrangements…

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FinlochPosted on1:10 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Blue Skies

What you don’t seem to get is that apart from Rangers being finagled into the SFL 3 (above members like Cove and Spartans who had a better claim to the place) that nothing has yet been done to clean up our game.

Yes a sort of peace has broken out as we are all following our teams again. But some of us can’t / won’t allow the authorities to sweep the mess that was Rangers FC under the carpet.

We need to use it as the catalyst to change our whole structure and sweep out the corrupt and sadly can’t move on till it happens.

I was at Easter Road last night having arranged to go before the clumsy attempt to encourage some Rangers minded fans along.

And yes I heard the booing and let me tell you it was no Hibs – Hearts rivalry.

I didn’t like seeing a Scottish Footballer booed by his own fans but the reality is the fans were not booing Mr Black no matter how they might disagree with some of his personal on-pitch traits.

The Scottish fans (in my book the most loyal, patient and undemanding in the world ) were booing Campbell Ogilvie, Stewart Regan, Craig Levein, Doncaster, Longmuir and all their sneaky wee committees.

And Blackie was an easy target for the wrath of the fans.

So we won but it wasn’t a happy day for Scotland because nothing has yet been done about our administration.
I and others like me won’t be going to see any of the home world cup qualifiers because I won’t give the current SFA any money – and I’ve been a regular since the West German World Cup qualifying campaign.

I will travel to a few of the games however and will gladly buy you a beer in less corrupt places.

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goosyPosted on1:11 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Whats the betting Green refused to sign up for the 3rd Div without an assurance of a few Scotland caps to encourage players to stay ?
Whats the betting the SFA agreed on condition it could not include Wallace until his transfer fee was paid in full to Hearts?
If so
Wallace will not be capped for at least 12 months

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Eastern ex-patPosted on1:13 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:59

Argh I said I ws out of here and yet back I am! BartinMain, as a CFO I belong to the school of thought that it is the duty of company directors to mitigate tax and maximise returns to shareholders. That mitigation must of course be legal. EBTs are (were) legal and the FTT is determining whether the scheme was implemented and operated legally in this case. There iis a world of difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.

As a CFO you would also know about risk management. The strategy embarked on by Rangers was risky to say the very least and the fact it was approved by the Board points at Rangers poor corporate governence and controls more than anything.

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Philip José FarmerPosted on1:16 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:28


You seem to be under the impression that there will be no action taken once the FTT rules. That almost certainly isn’t the case.

Once the FTT rules the matter of the actual level of debt will be finalised and further actions with regard the liquidation / winding up become much simpler. There will be a final figure for the total debt and what is owed to whom will be known.

I think some people are also missing the significance of who has been picked as the liquidator. His job will not be simply to liquidate the known assets and to distribute the money. Anyone could do that. Malcolm Cohen will be carrying out what is, in effect, part of a criminal investigation. This will be into the business and those who owned and ran it. It will be into their actions and decisions. He will also be looking at assets, here and abroad, with a view to seizing them in order to satisfy debt.

The matter of the FTT, the tax evaded and the liquidation of Rangers is a long way from over. HMRC have already confirmed this, if I remember correctly.

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KP BhoyPosted on1:16 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Blue Skies

In your post at 11.28am you put the question “Therefore may I ask why you care?”

There doesn’t seem much, if any, chance of recovering any of the tax that wasn’t paid from “OldCo” so I guess that BDO / HMRC will look to explore other options.

It seems to me that once the FTT findings are made public that there could well be criminal proceedings against several of the office bearers of the “OldCo”.

If criminal charges are made then we should all care – we surely don’t want to be part of a society where criminals can just get away with it…… do we ?

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bluPosted on1:18 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:40
9 2 i Rate This

BlueSkies I’ve previously welcomed the contribution that you and other Rangers supporters have made but the title of the blog (Whatever Happened to the Nimmo Smith Report) gives a clue as to the subject matter up for discussion. It has drifted significantly, which may well be a sign that this one has run its course. If you want to submit a blog entry on the subject of Scotland international football team, its prospects for qualifying for any future international competition finals, criteria for player selection, whether or not there are external influences on the manager’s choice of player or team formation, the positive/negative effect of Scottish league structure, poor technical skills vs. pot-hunting in youth football, why the BBC team view a diddy game against Australia as a sure indicator that we have two good players competing for every postion except goalkeeper (Stephen Thompson/Pat Nevin) etc.etc. – feel free to do so. TSFM can decide whether or not it meets his/her quality threshold and fits with the objectives of the site (see ‘About the The Scottish Football Monitor’). I’d suggest that a hissy fit because you interpret other peoples’ views to be too narrow and partisan won’t make anyone agree with your opinion that we should all move on from examining and re-examining the biggest story in Scottish football since Victorian times.

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justafanPosted on1:19 pm - Aug 16, 2012

HengistPod on August 16, 2012 at 10:45

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 09:45

Given the number of thumbs down I would be grateful if someone could explain why they think it was ok for the Tartan Army to boo a Scotland player. Thanks.
Question asked in a civil manner, so I’ll answer.

1. Mr Levein recently stated that 3rd Div players would not be suitable for his international team.

2. Mr Black is not a player with any international track record to explain why he was selected.

3. Mr Black has recently signed for Sevco.

4. The suspicion is that 3 above is the only reason why he was selected, despite 1 above.

5. Therefore, it appears that Mr Levein has been put under pressure to select a player from a 3rd Div team purely on account of the public identity of that team. The Scotland international team, apparently, must have a Rangers player in it.

6. Also, Mr Black played for Hearts until recently, and the Scotland game was at Hibs stadium.

This may have contributed to the booing. Ususally, however, local allegiances are put to one side for international games. —————————————————————— That still does not justify booing him, what is he supposed to say, sorry boss I’m not playing because of where I play? If 3 is the cause and the boss has been leaned on he should be big enough to say “do one” I pick the team and if not Mr Strachan’s phone should be ringing very shortly. In fact it should have been ringing after the 4-6-0 game.

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SpecialsWonPosted on1:22 pm - Aug 16, 2012

So Rangers’ Board was simply following their duty to mitigate tax and maximise returns to shareholders by operating the EBT scheme. A scheme that gave them a huge, financial and therefore sporting advantage, yet was unique to them, certainly in Scotland. How did this maximising returns to shareholders go then, not too well I’d suggest.

However whilst an EBT scheme may indeed have been legal, it was contrary to the laws of the SFA to make undisclosed payments, of any kind, to players, the so-called ‘dual contracts’ situation. So, if they were legal, why were they simply not disclosed to the SFA, as they have to be?

If everything was and above aboard and could be explained logically and rationally, why was the Mighty Rangers was sold for £1? Murray couldn’t wait to get the hell out and that tells us more than anything; EBT/FTTT + SFA = nightmare.

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twopanda bearsPosted on1:23 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Just because you’re paranoid…… says: at 10:45
twopanda bears says:
August 16, 2012 at 09:29
As a total layman in such matters what does confuse me is why 8-10 weeks of more fee generation when their proposal to the creditors has been booted out? (Leaving aside the COI stuff)

To be fair to the Joint Administrators, they have to justify their time on fees, and that requires approval by the creditors and the Courts and, for other reasons I don`t believe they`ll stay a millisecond longer than they need to.

However, on the proposal to the creditors, the famous CVA, I think you and many others have mentioned – that was a forlorn mission. They did foresee that but carried on with the CVA proposal nonetheless as there was huge pressure to avoid liquidation and the loss of Club History – so I guess it had to be tried – even though when BK /PM pulled out it was then beyond the deadline for that scenario.

Leaving aside the COI Stuff – 8 to10 weeks could be needed to;
• Wait in reserve – just in case – or at least provide guidance and support
• Prepare case notes for several court actions incl. CB and the 25m plus action + advice to Creditors
• Probably need to compile internal hand-over briefing documents for BDO
• Bring together all the legal paperwork with the brigades of Lawyers
• They`ll need to compile their invoices and expenses for submission of payment
Other Aspects – could well be – but I`m no IP?

But I believe, potentially the most interesting of all – D+P need to prepare a reconciled final Creditors Report – as it should include itemising exactly the state of financial play as partly handed over to CG in mid-June up to the 31 July when he reportedly handed over the 5.5m wonga. Plus – all details through those 6 long summer weeks through to July 31 including any trading losses whilst still then in Administration and, – including deals / and especially any financial agreements of CG with the SFA / SPA in that interim joint management period – to which we have no reliable information – hard facts – so far.

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Just because you’re paranoid……Posted on1:32 pm - Aug 16, 2012

twopanda bears says:
August 16, 2012 at 13:2

thanks once again – as they say – every day’s a school day !

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youtawknabootPosted on1:32 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 12:59

.. “CFO” ? ..soo many other connotations in there..
If sunlight is the best disinfectant then you & your (RFC IA soon to be L.. type) will soon need to don welders masks..as things are about to get very very bright down Govan way & very soon
..I hope 🙂

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NumbNutsPosted on1:44 pm - Aug 16, 2012

justafan says:
August 16, 2012 at 13:19

Is it not just entirely possible that he was the best available player for that position on that day?

The notion of SFA/anyone leaning on Craig Levein is complete tosh IMHO. I don’t buy the notion that signing for TRFC suddenly makes him good enough but neither do I buy the notion that signing for TRFC in D3 suddenly makes him *not* good enough.

The problem for Black and other players signing for TRFC is that their career skills will level-out and dimish over time as they play at a lower level of football. That is not an immediate effect but they will quickly fall behind others in the pecking order.

Levein will have looked at his options and gone with his best judgement. Good luck to him.

Last time I witnessed a Scotland player being booed was McAllister. It was shameful (and unfair) then and it is no different today. If he was picked then we should support him playing for our team. Its the manager, and only the manager who should take the hit. And incidentally Levein is most certainly the best man for the job.

Oh Lordy, I think I’m turning into an establishment apologist! Must be getting old … 8-(

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Philip José FarmerPosted on1:45 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Just an example of what the liquidator elect has said

“Once BDO is formally appointed, the joint liquidators will be seeking to protect any remaining assets, maximise recoveries for the benefit of creditors, and investigate the reasons behind the failure of the company.

“It is right that there is a full and robust investigation into why the company failed, together with concerted efforts to recover monies for creditors and the taxpayer.

“This may include pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the financial affairs of the company in previous years.”

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HengistPodPosted on1:50 pm - Aug 16, 2012

BlueSkies says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:09

HengistPod thanks. I don’t rate Levein but I do accept his justification for playing Black. I am firmly of the view that it is not right to boo a Scotland player as some sort of protest. The guy is making his debut. It is unjustifiable.
Normally, I would agree with you regarding the unjustifiable booing bit. However, given the events of the last few months, I would have to think that most of the booing was not aimed personally at the player (although he is certainly a wee sh!te, after all) – rather at the circumstances surrounding initially his selection and secondly him actually getting onto the park, with a bit of disgust at the preferential treatment given to the team he plays for thrown in.

At face value, and entirely ignoring all the background – I can also accept Levein’s justification for selecting him – although I could think of at least several players who probably deserved to be in the squad ahead of him, who already have international experience.

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NumbNutsPosted on1:53 pm - Aug 16, 2012

And another thing!

That post from BlueSkies @ August 16, 2012 at 12:59 was correct. I had to read it twice but it is correct.

I haven’t caught up wih previous discussion so if it is rooted in denial of wrongdoing and subsequent accountability (aka punishment) then I would have little sympathy. There is enough material out there to show the EBT was [almost certainly] operated illegally.

However I would also suggest, as a rule of thumb, if everyone could read their comments twice before clicking ‘submit’.

If it is a question or additional analysis to inform or debate then great, go ahead.

If it is just a jibe (e,g, “… they slither”) then please don’t. It only encourages other wasted and pointless posts that drag the discussion and forum down. There are plenty vacuousangerforums out there for that kind of content.

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shouting from a distancePosted on2:04 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Was last night’s game the first opportunity that the Scotland fans (ie those affected by the SFA stance towards the Rangers situation) had to make their opinions known? The turnout wasn’t great and there was booing of a player. It will be telling to see what the reaction is by the TA to a fully fledged competitive game if the SFA continue with their stance towards Rangers and it’s protection from the full force of any consequences of the various malpractice it has produced in both its Sevco and oldco guises.
As far as I can see there continues to be a lot of disenchantment with the SFA and SPL in the way that the Rangers situation is being dealt with – ie slowly. There is a perceived favouritism to the treatment afforded Rangers compared with similar situations with other clubs. The continued lack of any humility from anyone associated with either the old or new club, if anything there is a heightened sense of entitlement.
Fans have every right to voice their opinion on matters, if they choose to do it by booing someone associated with the root cause of the issues then so be it. It may not have been the done thing in days gone by but those days are long and the rules of the game have changed beyond all comprehension in the last 12 months.
Meanwhile Dundee Utd are still waiting for their money – is £31K or £65K?

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Philip José FarmerPosted on2:07 pm - Aug 16, 2012

As people are talking about the Ian Black situation I think it’s fairly obvious why the support are so annoyed. I would guess that the Hearts support are more annoyed than others.

He played for ICT 132 time, between 2004 and 2009

He played for Hearts 88 times, between 2009 and 2012

He never played for the Scotland team, however he did make two appearances for Scotland B.

He then moved to Rangers and has played against Brechin and Peterhead, in the Ramsden’s Cup (I think) and the SFL 3. The latter game was a scrappy draw in which Rangers scored the equalizer very late on.

The question people are forced to ask themselves is what has happened. If he was not good enough to play for Scotland when he was at Hearts, a team which has won the Scottish Cup twice in recent years, then why has he suddenly become good enough. Just how much has moving to the fourth tier of Scottish football improved his game. Doe playing against part timers, who train twice a week (for a total of three hours) really prepare him for International football.

It is quite frankly a disgrace. There are young players who would have benefited from that experience and didn’t get it. That was not for the good of Scottish football, if anything it was to appease Rangers and the Rangers’ fans.

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The GlenPosted on2:10 pm - Aug 16, 2012

MarkyBhoy says:
August 16, 2012 at 13:34

Charlie Brown says:
August 16, 2012 at 10:19

I know from friends that follow Auchinleck Talbot that Andrew Dallas was running the line in Junior games the season before last. Their opinion of him was that he was poor. They only found out who he was after going their mile about his performance. And he was only linesman that day!

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Philip José FarmerPosted on2:12 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Seamus says:
August 16, 2012 at 14:05


Who are the trolls, I haven’t seen much evidence of that.

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Philip José FarmerPosted on2:17 pm - Aug 16, 2012

One last boring bit on contentious insolvencies, from Mr Cohen again.

“Now that we’re on the way out of the recession, the time may be right for people and institutions who’ve lost money in the credit crunch to look towards recovering their losses – through litigation if appropriate,” says Malcolm Cohen, Business Restructuring partner at BDO.

Cohen is upbeat about the amount of contentious insolvency work that litigation departments are likely to see in the coming months, as creditors and other claimants look to boost their recoveries. But insolvency work requires rock-solid attention to detail, and the right choice of experts: investigations are likely to involve specialists from different departments, and it’s important to make sure that teams are communicating.

“Understanding the factual background to the losses which have been incurred may involve sifting through an awful lot of data, particularly as the nature of a lot of contentious insolvency work can be international,” he continues. “But there are so many elements in play it would be foolish to think that one department, with its own specific skill set, can handle the work alone.”

BDO have seen increasing amounts of contentious insolvency work recently. Key to this growth in business is the firm’s cross-team approach. “We are selling our clients broad litigation expertise, and that should mean they receive the very best we can offer in all areas,” says Cohen. “Although this type of work may come into the firm through Business Restructuring, we would be crazy not to use our Forensic team to go over the raw data, with a fine-tooth comb if necessary, before we decide what action to take on behalf of creditors. And the forensic people would be an integral part of the team from the beginning.”

The involvement of different experts from the beginning of the process also means a clear overall picture comes quickly into focus and pre-emptive action can be taken if needed. “The real benefit for lawyers can be seen in the quality of information we are able to gather prior to a case beginning, and how quickly we are able to do this,” he confirms. “For example, the fact that an integrated BR and Forensic team can act immediately and gather evidence means that a freezing order can be obtained very early in a case. This can make the difference between significant asset recoveries and no recovery at all.”

Asset recovery is, of course, the whole point of contentious insolvency litigation – and this is something else that a good team should consider very carefully. “If the initial research we undertake doesn’t point towards a winnable case, we definitely won’t push litigation through just to earn a fee,” says Cohen. “Another advantage of involving our Forensic team early on is that we often find that defendants might be unable to pay even if litigation were pursued successfully. In these circumstances we would advise extreme caution in pursuing litigation, however good the case may be.”

BDO’s record of success in contentious insolvency work is testament to the importance of instructing the right experts early, working with closely integrated teams, and taking a hardnosed commercial view of the merits and financial realities of each case. The Advisory team is going to be seeing a lot of this kind of work for the foreseeable future.

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Danish PastryPosted on2:40 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Smell the glove says:
August 16, 2012 at 11:35
 15 3 Rate This
A lack of new information doesn’t help but it seems a lot of the best posters have disappeared since the RTC days and the blog is suffering as a result.

Unfocused. There’s lots of irrelevant stuff filling the thread. I see maybe one poster illicting 20 responses to something which is basically off topic. The discussion becomes tiresome and banal. It’s the same type of non-speak every time. Circular arguments about nothing of any significance. Then it ends up being a discussion about the poster himself and his motives. Stuff about Black, the upcoming World Cup campaign, and so on, belongs over on Pie & Bovril or on a separate thread here.

There’s also a danger that The SFM is perceived as ‘We Do Moaning Ltd’. Some guest blogs offering constructive discussion of league reconstruction and related financial issues would be good at some point. Doing exhaustive nit-picking and fault-finding is easy. Presenting workable solutions is far more difficult.

There’s been some first-class posts which could easily have been blogs in themselves on those subjects. I understand the misgivings that this will be seen as not part of the RTC legacy, but with other off-topic subjects filling each new thread it might be worth considering.

Having one blog dealing only with ‘RTC Latest’ and making sure it is always first on the blog list, could be a useful thing. It may be slow and include fewer posts but at least it would be completely relevant to what started this movement and would allow those with the gift to contribute – without having their posts drowned in run-of-the-mill ‘fan-speak’.

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smartie1947Posted on3:40 pm - Aug 16, 2012

As an aide-memoire to which English/European clubs RFC still owed money to, I clicked on an old link from the official RFC web-site when it was being run by Duff & Phelps. In other words, what had previously been their Statement of Affairs.
Surprise,surprise, the link no longer worked. Instead I was directed to a screen, showing the old RFC crest and a menu with options to “Ticketing Information”, “Latest News”, “Shop” and “Home”, all leading to a site named as Rangers Football Club ( no sign of The), old crest, and detailing the current activities of what we would prefer to call Sevco.
Was I surprised? Not really, it was as clear an example of the masquerade of the Newco pretending to be the Oldco as I have seen, but again it appears they will get away with it. This is one piece of their beloved history they clearly don’t want to retain for posterity.

( From a strictly personal view, can someone be so good as to send me a link to the S of A as above, so that I can set up a separate file so as to prevent it disappearing into the ether.)

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campsiejoePosted on3:45 pm - Aug 16, 2012

smartie1947 @ 15:40

With thanks to Paul McConville’s site



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SeamusPosted on3:55 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Smell the glove and Danish Pastry couldn’t agree more with you both.
I’m not as addicted to this site as I was to RTC 🙁

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Trimm TrabPosted on4:00 pm - Aug 16, 2012

Philip José Farmer says:
August 16, 2012 at 14:07

My thoughts exactly – there is no balanced reason for Black suddendly to be an international level player.

Now Levien has either done that age old thing of ignore a player until he signs for Rangers, Celtic, Championship or a EPL club – which is shockingly lazy management but a common theme that runs thought Scottish National managers.

Or if you like a bit of paranoia you could think who gains to benefit he most – who would benefit by the value of a player increasing due to international exposure? Who would also benenfit by having the option of telling potential signings yet you can come to Division 3 (for a season before were in the top league [sic]) but you could stay play for your Country?

I find everything to do with the SFA rotten and wish somehow the whole lot could be disbanded and we could start again with a National association somewhere like Stirling or Perth with no ties to anything (or more specifically any team).

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